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How to be a Xero “Power User” – Features of Xero

xero power user

Introduction

Xero is a cloud-based accounting software targeted toward small to medium-sized businesses. Built with tools for managing invoicing, bank reconciliation, inventory, purchasing, expenses, bookkeeping and more.

With Xero, you can access your accounts and run your business from anywhere in the world. Your trusted advisers can log in and view your accounts too, providing valuable real-time advice – no more sending files via email or courier! With this said, it may be difficult navigating through the software.

So, we have made a list of the most important features that will clear your Xero concerns.

XERO Features

:

Get bank feeds

The bank feed function is xero is one of the competent functions in xero. With the bank feeds, banking data will flow automatically in the accounting software providing real time data, saving time and error and keeping the accounts up to date.

This function has made the bank reconciliation very easy with just a click of the button.

Search Button

Mindlessly searching through all the data you have on Xero is exhausting. With the search button, you can find the smallest of things, and how to access specifics on the software.

Search for contacts, invoices, bills, transactions, purchase orders, quotes and even help. Next time you are logged in and are on the hunt for something, check out the search button.

If determining whether Xero is the right tool for you, check out our recent blog.

Inbuilt Calculator

No need to constantly google search “calculator” or even refer to your calculator on your computer.

Xero has a built-in calculator saving you the quick switch from your Xero display to the calculator. You can perform basic mathematical equations within a transaction.

For example, a unit field on a bill. To utilise this, a simple equation (example 500 + 8) it requires into the relevant field. This helps your calculations on accuracy and time.

Customisable Roles

This feature allows you to create highly customisable roles for any contact within Xero.

With this feature, you can assign roles in Xero based on the individual’s role in your business. Xero also provides a chart detailing the roles and permission.

This ensures that you can control any access to sensitive information you do not want your customised roles to see, whilst being able to fully collaborate with everyone impacting your business.

Invoice Reminders

Xero allows automatic reminders to be set up to save your time. Chasing for your accounts receivable and even tracking your own invoices can be easily tracked.

xero bill reminder

These reminders are sent out as emails to customers who have invoices on the Awaiting Payment tab. You can also remind yourself by following these steps:

  •    Click on settings
  •    Go on General Settings
  •    Click Invoice Settings
  •    Click Reminders button

From here you will be able to configure Xero to auto send reminders based on how overdue invoices become. These reminders will go out automatically a few days before or after an invoice is due, depending on your preference.

Uploading Photos

Ever get lost in boxes full of paper receipts? With Xero, you can easily upload anything eliminating the use of printing and confusion.

When entering a bill, you will see an icon in the top right corner. Clicking this will allow you to attach a PDF or JPEG document to your transaction.

This feature changes the way we store hardcopy receipts and invoices storing them in one convenient spot. As well as saving extra cash on printing pages of the files.

Undo a Reconciliation Mistake

Xero’s “Unreconcile” feature lets you fix incorrectly matched transaction quickly. This feature keeps the account transaction and the bank statement line but removes the connection between them.

To save you time we have broken down the steps to unreconcile an accountant transaction:

  •    Click on the three little dots to the right of the account name on the Dashboard.
  •    Go to Account Transactions under the Find header.
  •    Click the transaction you want to change to open it.
  •    On the next screen, click Options and then select Unreconcile.
  •    Click OK on the pop-up window to unreconcile the transaction.

Sync with Google Sheets

With all your receipts and invoices documents in the same place, Xero has also made syncing to google another way to collate your files.

By syncing your Gmail, you can export Xero reports or budgets onto Google Sheets. This hassle-free feature assists in editing, saving and sharing the sheet. We have broken down the steps for you to follow.

  •    Click the menu icon (the three little dots) to the right of the document you’d like to export
  •    Go to a report or budget that you’d like to export
  •    Choose your export method—choose Google Sheets
  •    Log onto your Gmail account if haven’t done yet
  •    Confirm that Xero is a trusted site each time you initiate a Google Sheets session
  •    Click export

Repeating Invoices and Bills

Regular invoices and bills can be set up on a repeating basis and saved as a draft. Save yourself the trouble of having to repeat the same process again and again.

You can also approve and send sale invoices automatically. This helps move your business model, ensuring cash flow is maintained. To apply this, develop a template and Xero will automatically create an invoice or bill for you based on the frequency you have chosen.

To top it all off, you can also backdate and generate invoices as necessary.

Demo Company Feature

Still not truly understanding how to work your way around Xero. Or want to play around and discover new things for your business? Xero’s demo company lets you experiment with usable test data. This allows you to test out transactions and features which are completely disassociated with your own business. The already configured data on the demo can assist in playing around without any harm. Nothing will be affected nor will anyone else be able to see what you have done.

Still having Trouble with Xero?

Are you a recent accounting graduate but need to gain the practical accounting skills you need to walk into your dream accounting role?

Proficiency with business accounting software like Xero is critical to the modern skill set for accounting professionals in Australia. That’s where BLC Training and Internship can help.

At BLC, we helped many accounting graduates to kick start their dream career in Australia just like you. Discover how BLC Training and Internship can help you with your Accounting career today.

If you would like to find out more or require training on accounting software Xero, we are here to help.

Make Your Accounting CV Stand Out From The Crowd

Resume

With the accounting and finance industries booming in Australia, companies are flooded with job applications and CVs every day. The competition can be tough and most accounting graduates are finishing University with the same levels of knowledge and training.

You may see your CV as merely a piece of paper telling a company who you are and what you are all about, but in reality it is the only thing that can land you an interview for that ‘perfect job’.

It is essential that you present a great CV to prospective employers and that you make yourself stand out as a ‘top applicant’ against other accounting job seekers. Your CV primarily needs to show your qualifications, achievements, skills and experiences. Everything on your CV must be relevant for the job that you are applying for and it is advisable to remove anything that is not relevant as far as the reader (prospective employer) is concerned.

Some of the golden rules are: use bullet points and use spelling and grammar checks, make every effort to get your hands on a job spec for a vacancy and explain all gaps on your CV.

 1. Create a Personal Statement 

At the top of your CV you should have a personal statement. It is the first thing that any prospective employer will see as they pick up your CV and it is imperative as to whether they will read the rest of your CV or not. Your personal statement in a few lines should cover who you are (education and skills), what you can offer the company and what your career goals are. Keep the job description in mind whilst writing this personal statement and remember that for every job you apply for this is going to be a little different. Make your statement unique to you and place emphasis on relevant skills and abilities. Personal Statements tend to be 4-5 lines in length.

2. What Is Your USP?

If you are applying to a job that you feel you are almost perfectly suited for, then what is your USP? What have you previously done or what can you bring to this role which other candidates can’t?

Everyone has something that sets them apart from the rest of the crowd, you just need to reflect on what that something is and then tailor it to suit the job in question. For example, if you volunteered to teach Mathematics to disadvantaged youths for a year during College, this shows you are hard working, trustworthy and a great communicator. If these types of traits are requirements for the job in question, do not be afraid to list on your CV your real life achievements and experiences.

If you have links to any work, blogs or websites etc that you have created previously, be sure to list these on your CV too.

3. Keywords

Sometimes you do not have to send your CV to a company in order to get found. Now more than ever companies themselves are searching online for the perfect candidates to fill available positions based on their skills, experiences and whether they are open to new opportunities or not. This is especially the case via job sites such as LinkedIn, Seek and Indeed.

This doesn’t mean that you have to litter keywords relevant to your career all over your CV, but it certainly helps to be mindful of them as you write it. Keywords that employers search for are often based around the job title they are recruiting for, its duties, required skills and your education training.

If you are open to new opportunities, when you are writing your CV look at various job descriptions and words used in roles that you are suitable for e.g. accounting graduate, payroll officer, MYOB trained.

4. Match Your CV To The Job

One of the most time consuming aspects of job hunting is that in order to stand out and be considered for a role, you do need to customize your CV for each and every job that you apply for. Whilst this can be a tedious and frustrating process (as most people apply for many jobs at once) it will definitely be worth it once you land your perfect role!

Alter your CV in line with the job you are applying for – research the company, see what they value and look for, use skills, attributes and relevant experiences that match the job description. Your CV is your one chance to sell yourself, and unless you can make the employer see why you are a great fit for the job in question, they will move on to read the CV of the next candidate in their pile.

5. Format and Grammar

Format_Grammar

When you are writing and sending out your CV please ensure that it is formatted correctly and that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Whilst you may be the perfect candidate for a job in terms of your education and experiences, if you present to an employer a CV that is messily put together or one that is scattered with spelling and grammar mistakes, it is unlikely that you will be considered for any available roles. Take the time to make sure your CV is neat, accurate clear and concise.

If you are still struggling to get your CV right, get in touch with us here at BLC Training and Internships. We regularly offer free CV and Cover Letter Workshops and we also offer Career Skills Courses that train you on all aspects of the job search process including CV Writing, Cover Letters, LinkedIn For Job Search, 1st round interviews & Assessment Centers.

For more info on these courses please email: ruth@blctraining.com.au.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Why your accounting degree alone is not enough?

Slaving away with exams and assignments for 4 years may seem like the end, but as an accounting graduate, it is just the beginning. In a day and age of constant shifts in accounting regulations and technological advances, accounting graduates need to be smart with their degree. Just graduating with an accounting degree alone will not help you reach your full potential in your career.

There are many factors to consider and develop along with your accounting degree; ranging from a strong foundation in soft skills to gaining appropriate experience for the job. Here we take a look into why your accounting degree alone is simply not enough to suffice in the accounting industry.

Internship

Even before you graduate with a degree, practical experience is important. As the accounting field has become more and more competitive within the last few years, students need to think of new ways to help them stand out from all the other equally qualified and knowledgeable candidates. Everyone graduating has the same skill sets, knowledge and experience as you. You will be competing for a job among a sea of other candidates exactly like you- that’s when recruiters look for extra attributes.

 This is where an internship should be something to consider even before attaining your accounting degree.

Soft Skills

Recruiters often look for two types of skills in their candidates – hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills include the practical and theoretical qualities of accounting. However, as everyone graduating with you would have the same level of knowledge and skill, this makes soft skills a vital trait for recruitment as it is something not everyone has mastered.

A simple thing such as communication for example can help you convey your ideas and present yourself well in a job interview. Being able to communicate well in writing and in person can display the hard skills that you have acquired in your degree.

Engaging with building soft skills such as teamwork, problem solving, time management etc can also set you apart from the sea of other candidates. Your accounting degree would be pointless if you had no means on how to present it.

Accounting Software Knowledge

The rampant surge of software advances in recent years has highlighted the importance of technology. Cloud accounting like Xero is the latest technology break-through in the industry. The increased focus on digitization and automation has encouraged more employers to look for candidates with the right IT skills to grasp new financial systems.

Depending on the path of your course, cloud accounting isn’t something that you will likely learn in detail – most courses then to focus more on handwritten recording of transactions and theory. This alone is not sustainable in the booming technological industry of today.

It is in the company’s best interest to take on candidates that will be the most beneficial to the productivity of the business, meaning employing candidates with sound knowledge of various accounting software like Xero and Myob.  Sure, mastering the theory and how to pull insightful data out of a report are critical to have a successful accounting career, however, if you can’t use the accounting software and other tools necessary to do your job – advancing in your career will be tough.

  Accreditation

After undertaking an appropriate education, gaining accreditation is needed.These accreditation require graduates to sit an exam or you have to have a minimum number of years of experience to be eligible to be apply. Australia’s accounting industry is regulated and accredited by three professional accounting bodies:

Institute of Public Accountants (IPA)

You can join as a member of IPA if you meet one of the below entry requirements.

  • Qualifications and experience:
  • Eligible accounting qualification (see AIPA requirement) + a post-graduate accounting qualification assessed to be equivalent to the IPA Program Stage 1 and
  • Industry experience assessed to be equivalent to the Mentored Experience Program (MEP) completion/full exemption; OR
  • Current membership with an IFAC Member level body, IPA MIPA level equivalent(additional requirements may apply in certain jurisdictions due to local legislative requirements).

Please refer to IPA website for further information regarding membership: https://www.publicaccountants.org.au/become-a-member/membership-pathways

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ)

To join this body, you will need to complete the CA Program and must hold a degree, or a postgraduate award recognised by CAANZ. The CA program is comprised of the Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting and, three years of approved and mentored practical experience.

Please refer to CA ANZ Australia website for further information regarding membership of CA ANZ: https://www.charteredaccountantsanz.com/become-a-member

CPA Australia (CPA)

To join this body, a member must hold a degree, or a postgraduate award recognised by CPA Australia. You must complete the CPA Program, including three years of professional experience in finance, accounting or business.

Without a sound knowledge of the correct accreditation to pursue, attaining a potential graduate position and prospects will be difficult and messy. For more information, contact any of the organisations listed above.

Please refer to CPA Australia website for further information regarding membership of CPA Australia: https://www.cpaaustralia.com.au/become-a-cpa

In Conclusion

There are many things to consider before you graduate with your accounting degree. Planning for which accounting sector you want to go into, whilst you are still completing your education, is very advisable.  This will also enable you to seek relevant experiences for any future internships. And with the industry becoming increasingly more technologically savvy, accounting software use is more important than ever. Graduating with limited software knowledge can be tricky, however, there are a plethora of easy ways (such as short practical courses) to address your cracks in accounting.

<Need Accounting Training?

BLC Training and Internship is a leading training provider focused on enhancing and developing your career!

Wanting to brush up on your accounting knowledge? Or just want overall experience with cloud accounting? The Job Ready Accounting Program offered by BLC Training and Internship provides you with the technical skills and soft skills required for the accounting roles in Australia.

 This program is well-suited to recent accounting graduates, professionals contemplating a career change and migrants looking for Australian Accounting experience.

To find us more and our offerings, please visit: www.blctraining.com.au or call +61 (03) 9349 2513 to speak to one of our friendly staff members.

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming A Payroll Officer

Introduction

Pay day is an important day in the lives of all employees. It is important to make sure that employees are paid accurately and on time. To ensure that employees are paid correctly, it is very important to make the right deductions, to add the right allowances, to include the correct withheld tax amount and to make the correct superannuation payments. Correct payroll is not only important to the employees, but it is equally important for tax compliance and overall financial condition. Without the proper knowledge in payroll, this payroll process can be difficult and complicated. As an accounting graduate you have several options as to what type of accounting career you would like to specialise in and payroll accounting is definitely one to consider. But whichever career you choose, you should make sure that it is one that you are interested in and that you have proper knowledge and training in the are you choose.

What is payroll

The payroll of a business is a record of all amounts earned by its employees. Details included in the payroll records relate to employee gross wages and salaries, deductions, bonuses or commissions, tax withheld, superannuation, pay for time not worked and other items that would appear on an employee’s pay slip. The primary function of the payroll department is to ensure that all the employees are paid correctly, and the deductions are remitted to the respective authorities in a timely manner.

Roles and Responsibilities of Payroll Officer

Payroll officers are those employees who monitor the payroll related information and data. Payroll officers have numerous role and responsibilities. Their roles and responsibilities include: –

  • Collection of timesheets
  • Calculate the payroll amount to disburse
  • Calculate PAYG withheld amount and pay the tax to ATO
  • Send pay amount to respective employees’ account
  • Liaise with employees and management
  • Be aware of changes in compliance related to payroll like working hours, superannuation, minimum pay, overtime entitlements, tax withholdings and many more

Benefits of a Payroll Accounting Career

As an accounting graduate before you decide to choose any career you should analyse the benefits you will get from the career. Payroll as a career has several compelling benefits. Let’s discuss some of them:

Salary

One of the motivating factors for anyone is obviously the Salary. When it comes to deciding on a career many students choose the option which has a rewarding salary offer. The average salary earned by a payroll officer annually is $60K. This salary increases as one gains more experience in the field.

Flexibility

Another important factor to consider while choosing a career is the flexibility. Payroll officers have the option to work as part time, casual or full time staff as the payroll function does not require the staff to be present all day in order to complete the task. If you are a student who has a work restriction of 20 hours per week or if you must look after your parents or children, then definitely payroll accounting is a good option for you.

Similarly, payroll is required in all kinds of industries. Whether in a multinational, banks, corporate houses, public practice, retail, hospitals etc. wherever there are people employed there is the requirement for payroll accounting. In other words, payroll exists in every kind of industry. It provides flexibility also in the sense that one can choose what type of industry they would like to work for.

Prospective career path

There are always career progression and growth opportunities in payroll accounting. One can start the payroll job from entry level, but it is not mandatory. The minimum qualification required is Diploma degree, preferably from bookkeeping, human resources or an administration background. In the entry level position, one will work under the supervisor and assist with data entry, filing, answering payroll queries and maintaining accurate records. As a payroll clerk one might deal with employment verification, processing new hires paperwork and helping with ‘newbie’ orientation.

After gaining a few years of experience, one can always go into a higher level job as a payroll coordinator and manager. At this stage, one would be able to independently process payroll, employment verifications forms and handle various other payroll related jobs.

Skills required for payroll officer

Besides high school education and a degree from a university, you should possess various technical and soft skills to become a payroll officer.

Technical skills

  • Knowledge of compliance

Payroll is related to legal and compliance requirements. It is directly connected to legal and tax regulation.

  • Strong math and numeracy skills

Complex calculation is required to do the payroll. You need to have strong mathematical skills to become a payroll officer.

  • Proficiency with industry accounting software

Having knowledge in recent accounting software like Myob, Xero and Ms- Excel is always an added benefit to enhance your payroll career.

Soft skills

  • Problem solving skills

In a payroll job several problems can arise like miscalculation, tax irregularities, dealing with difficult staffs. As a payroll officer you should be prompt to handle the situation efficiently.

  • Good communication skills both verbal and written

As a payroll officer you need to communicate with employees from every level. You need to have both verbal and written communication skills.

  • Attention to detail

Payroll is one the very crucial function in any organization. Record keeping, maintaining time sheets, and handling data correctly are essential steps in the payroll process.

Conclusion

Payroll is definitely one of the most prospective career options for the accounting graduates. As a payroll officer you are always in demand as every industry and business requires a payroll function. It is a challenging and at the same time demanding career opportunity for accounting graduates.

If you are a recent accounting graduate looking for some practical accounting training in payroll function, we at BLC training and Internship offer practical payroll training. Proficiency with business accounting software like Xero and MYOB is critical to the modern skill set for accounting professionals in Australia.That’s where BLC Training and Internship can help.

At BLC, we have helped many accounting graduates just like you to kick start their dream career here in Australia!

Discover how BLC Training and Internship can help you with your payroll career today.

If you would like to find out more or if you require training on accounting software like Xero and MYOB, we are here to help. Get in touch with one of our friendly staff members at +61 (03) 9349 2513 or visit our website at www.blctraining.com.au.

 

All You Need To Know About Single Touch Payroll

What is Single Touch Payroll?

Single Touch Payroll or most frequently called STP, is a newly introduced digital system of reporting payroll data to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).  The system brings much needed transparency and fluidity of the payroll information in Australia.

Before STP was introduced in 2018, all businesses were reporting their payroll data every month, quarter or annually. This was an efficient but slow system in terms of transferring data. It carried lots of loopholes and lacked the fluidity of transferring information from business to ATO. Thus, ATO introduced STP.

STP allows mandatory reporting of each employee payroll activity after each pay day. The reports use digital submission, using a very specific format. The STP system are provided by most of the readily available accounting software.

How Single Touch Payroll Works?

Basically, when STP runs at every pay day, the software sends payroll data such as gross earnings, PAYG withheld and superannuation to ATO.

On each pay day, employer determines the pay for each employee. Then they run normal pay run through a STP compliant software. The software then calculates the payroll tax and superannuation as required by the employers. Once the pay run is complete the employer sends payslips to each employee, either via email or post and makes the payment to employee. Then, the software sends all the payroll data to ATO.

At every pay day, ATO receives the data and matches the information with the pre-existing employer and employee records. Employees will be able to view their year to date earnings and superannuation information in ATO online services (www.my.gov.au). At the end of the year, employees no longer need the PAYG Summary for their tax return as all the information is readily available online.

The employer will be reporting Super liability information through STP and Super funds will also be reporting to ATO. The Super funds will let ATO know once the employer makes Super payment to employees’ chosen or default fund. This is an important step toward making sure employees are paid their correct entitlements.

Made a mistake? Employers are allowed rectify their errors in the following report. There are no penalties for rectifying a mistake.

What It Means to Businesses?

The key benefit for employers and business using Single Touch Payroll is that it will streamline the reporting process. Long are the days gone when information was used to be reconciled at the end of the year and issue PAYG summary. The mistakes and time taken to prepare this information will drastically reduced as STP takes control of reporting at each pay day.

Also, ATO will automatically pre-fill the payroll information in the BAS (W1 and W2) for employers. This will potentially eliminate all errors and double handling. Eventually, eliminating the need to issue the PAYG summary at the end of the year.

What It Means to Employees?

The STP implementation provides employees their instant access to their year to date earnings super information that their employers have paid. All they need is a login to www.my.gov.au .

The payment summaries will no longer be provided by the employers at end of the financial year. The data will be readily available in the My Gov account of the employee. Every employee will be able to request a copy of income statement from ATO from www.my.gov.au. Also, the authorised tax agents will be able to access your income statement directly from their tax agent portal. Therefore, no need of hassling in search of group certificates at the tax time.

More importantly, an employee will be able to check if their super has been paid. Prior to STP implementation, employees were in dark in terms of their super, but now all the information are just a click away.

When is STP to be Implemented as a Mandatory Payroll Reporting System?

For larger employers with 20 or more, employees should now be reporting through STP. It came into effect since 1st July 2018.

For small employers with 5 -19 should start reporting through STP from 1st of July 2019.

For employers with 1- 4 employees (micro-employers), there are number of low cost or no cost software available to report STP. They will be able to lodge the payroll through tax or BAS agents quarterly, rather than at each pay period. However, this option will only be available until 30th June 2021.

Which Software Provides STP Feature?

Big and popular accounting software such as Xero and MYOB have integrated STP within their Payroll processing feature without any extra charges. Other providers such as Quickbooks and Reckon also provide STP reporting at minimal cost. On top of this, there are list of software providers that provide low-cost or no-cost STP reporting. You can follow the link here.

There are no hard and fast rules in choosing a right software provider. All of them must be approved by ATO and can be adopted for your business for STP reporting.

Our thoughts on STP

Single Touch Payroll is ATO latest reporting system implemented to introduce transparency and free flow of payroll data. With the introduction of STP individuals, related government organisations and authorised parties can access to an individual’s income data instantly and with confidence.

STP will practically eliminate all the errors, double handling and potential fraud income declaration.  The system will be very helpful to the organisations such as credit providers, immigration department, financial institution, Centrelink and tax agents.

Technology ridden modern world require paperless, free flowing information readily available in the hand. Thus, we think that introduction of STP is a good move by ATO in transforming Australia into digital age.

How BLC Training Can Support You with STP Change?

BLC Training has teamed up with our business partner –Lotus Smart Accounting to deliver a series of info sessions on the topic of Single Touch Payroll. We understand the move to real-time digital reporting maybe a big change for both business owners and accountants, so join us for this info session to help you understand what you need to do to prepare for this changes coming to you from 1st July 2019. Check out the upcoming events on our Facebook Page.

 

How To Get A Graduate Accounting Job In Australia

Getting a graduate position in a field so vast and competitive can be difficult. Choosing a graduate job in the accounting field requires education, formal certification and a firm commitment to learning the trade.

There’s definitely a lot more than crunching numbers on a calculator. In order to successfully have an accounting career, there is a certain level of experience and study you’ll need to become qualified and nationally recognised.

What are you going to specialise in?

Very few accountants are generalists, most of them would be specialised in one industry or in one aspect of the business. Therefore, experience or degree with a concentrated coursework with a focus in a particular specialty may be partly what employers look for when recruiting graduate accountants.

1. University Education

Most accountancy positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, such as Bachelor of Accounting, Commerce, and Business. With these degrees being so broad, it’s a good idea to plan which subjects you will be undertaking to pursue a specific career goal. Your choice of subjects in your relevant course along with your marks will influence your goals and chances of pursuing different specialisations.

2. Diploma

If you are looking for a shorter accounting study instead, then an accounting diploma program will help to build on your basic accounting knowledge and skills to provide a solid foundation for your next career move. By completing a specialist course on your choice, you would be able to gain exposure to accounting skills such as bookkeeping, accounts receivable/payable and payroll processing just to name a few.

3. Accreditation

After undertaking an appropriate education, gaining accreditation is needed. Find out what you must tackle for your accounting career. These accreditation require an exam to sit or minimum years of experience to apply. Australia’s accounting industry is regulated and accredited by three professional accounting bodies:

Institute of Public Accountants (IPA)

You can join as a member of IPA if you meet one of the below entry requirements.

  • Qualifications and experience:
  • Eligible accounting qualification (see AIPA requirement) + a post-graduate accounting qualification assessed to be equivalent to the IPA Program Stage 1 and
  • Industry experience assessed to be equivalent to the Mentored Experience Program (MEP) completion/full exemption; OR
  • Current membership with an IFAC Member level body, IPA MIPA level equivalent(additional requirements may apply in certain jurisdictions due to local legislative requirements).

Please refer toIPA website for further information regarding membership: https://www.publicaccountants.org.au/become-a-member/membership-pathways

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ)

To join this body, you will need to complete the CA Program and must hold a degree, or a postgraduate award recognised by ICAA. The CA program is comprised of the Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting and, three years of approved and mentored practical experience.

Please refer to CA ANZ Australia website for further information regarding membership of CA ANZ: https://www.charteredaccountantsanz.com/become-a-member

CPA Australia (CPA)

To join this body, a member must hold a degree, or a postgraduate award recognised by CPA Australia. You must complete the CPA Program, including three years of professional experience in finance, accounting or business.

Without a sound knowledge of the correct accreditation to pursue, attaining a potential graduate position and prospects will be difficult and messy. For more information, contact any of the organisations listed above.

Please refer to CPA Australia website for further information regarding membership of CPA Australia: https://www.cpaaustralia.com.au/become-a-cpa

Get the internships experience

As competition for jobs has exponentially increased within the last few years, you need to think of new ways to help stand out from all the other equally qualified and knowledgeable candidates.

Having experience brings a lot to the table as a candidate for an accounting graduate position. Find a company that aligns with your career goals in what you would like to specialise in. Interning during your education will help you not only gain more credibility as a graduate when seeking jobs but also deepen your understanding of the various aspects of accounting and workplace culture.

Some of the universities in Australia include internship within the coursework, and some of the training providers also offer internship programs to international students. So next time you’re on a summer break or gap year, you might want to consider to do a meaningful internship to boost up your future career.

Researching employer

Researching employer is one of the most efficient ways to become a stand out candidate during the recruitment process. Whether it is one of the big four accounting firms or a finance department within an organisation, each employer will have their unique company culture and benefits.

So what are the places you should go to research your potential employers? The good news is that it’s easier than ever before to learn about an employer. Firstly, start your research by visiting the company’s website including its service or products as well as the culture, mission and value. Then, tap into the social media such as company Facebook Page and LinkedIn account. This will give you a good understanding of how the company wants its customers to see it.

Keep in mind no application should be the same. Each business will have its unique values and mission, so using one generic application is worthless, if it does not cater to the requirement of the role.Understand your objective from the start and determine what you would like to gain from the role, and never rush an application.

Be prepared for your interview

There are thousands of interviews questions a potential employer could ask you. But they are most likely narrowing down to variations on these two meta questions:

  • Do you have the right skill sets for the role you apply for?
  • Do you have the character traits that will make you the best fit for the team and company?

If you have put in the effort to know the business, then displaying your eagerness to join them as an accounting graduate should be easy. You should also try and consider some responses to potential questions you will be asked during the interview.

A list of question that can be asked include:

  • Why do you choose to work in Accounting field?
  • Give an example of when you had to work as part of a team.
  • How do you manage high-stress environments?

It is also crucial to brush up on your accounting knowledge as practical accounting questions can be asked. You will be able to present yourself confidently in an interview if you are equipped with the required practical skills for the role. Some examples include but not limited to:

  • What methods have you used for estimating bad debt?
  • How do you evaluate the reliability of the financial data you obtain?
  • Which accounting applications and software are you familiar with?

The key to success in an interview is practice, so be sure to check out our recent blog – 8 Common Accounting Graduate Job Interview Questions to learn more about why these questions are important for employers to ask and how to answer them correctly.

Need help with securing a graduate position?

Whether it is to brush up your accounting knowledge or gaining practical software skills, BLC Training and Internship is the one stop solution for all.

At BLC, we have helped many accounting graduates, skilled migrants to kick start their dream career in Australia. Discover how BLC Training and Internship can help you with your Accounting career today.

If you would like to find out more or require training on accounting software like Xero and MYOB, we are here to help. Get in touch with one of our friendly staff members to book a free trial class today!

 

Should I Take The Job? 7 Ways To Assess A Job Offer

should i take the job

So, you’ve aced the job interview and the company has offered you the position. Great news! You’re obviously going to take it, yes?

The temptation may be to accept the job offer straight away but before you pop open the champagne, take a step back and assess the situation. Take at least a day or two to assess your options, especially if you are mulling over more than one offer or if you are torn between staying in your current job and accepting a new position.

Your job is a huge part of your life and you will be spending most days of the week in your workplace. It is therefore very important that the job you accept is as suitable for you as possible.

1. Salary

Does the position represent a sizable salary increase on your last/current job? If you are evaluating multiple job offers, which one offers the best salary?

At the same time, try not to focus on salary alone because if the base seems low perhaps there is commission or OTE’s to consider. Sometimes the salary may not be very high but maybe the job offers you a lot of opportunity and so there is a potential for growth that will benefit you and your career in the long run.

 2. Opportunities for Career Progression

Some people place less value on monetary rewards in a job than having the chance to advance in the company. If this applies to you, you need to be sure a clear career path is in place before you accept an offer. Will you be given the opportunity to grow, learn new skills and face new challenges?

career progression

3. Job Benefits and Perks

Maybe one job offers a higher salary but as a result another provides better benefits. Perks such as good health and dental insurance packages may mean more to you than the actual base salary.

Some companies also offer many perks outside of monetary rewards. For instance some organizations may let you work from home, or they might offer flexible work hours. Some companies may even offer you the opportunity to condense your working week meaning you have a 3 day weekend or a mid week day off.

Perks offered by a company can be just as important as the salary package. The perks you desire or the ones that sway you towards a job offer do of course depend on your circumstances like where you live, if you have kids; have you many outside of work commitments etc.

4. Commute

Will the job require you to travel a large distance between work and home? If this is an issue, you need to weigh up whether or not the job is feasible.

Make sure you think a lot about your commute times and length. Do research on how long the journey typically takes at peak hours and what modes of transport you need to get there. The idea of sitting on one train for an hour may seem feasible but if you have an hour commute involving 3 different modes of transport that come at different times, your commute may be a different story.

Look into the cost of commuting too and see is it feasible with your monthly travel budget.

 5. Work/life balance

How much emphasis do you place on having a work/life balance? Find out if the role involves working late and long hours. Are you prepared to work these hours?

If the job does require a lot of late evening work do they have the added benefits of an onsite gym or cafeteria?

work life balance

6. Company culture

An important element to consider is whether or not you buy into the company culture of your potential new employers. Do you share their vision? Are their values in line with yours? If not, then maybe they’re not the right fit for you because it is very hard to work in an industry or for a company that you are not passionate about. There are so many organizations out there that there is something for everyone! Take the time to find the best company for you.

Some companies are great to build staff moral and so they create fantastic rapport amongst their employees. They may offer monthly team lunches, social clubs or holidays abroad. If this type of culture is important to you, accept a job offer that has it.

Company culture is of course very industry dependent so you need to keep this in mind.

7. Stability of the company/industry 

Ensure that you know as much as possible about the company and the industry which you have applied to. Is it performing well? Is this an area that is growing? You do not want to accept a job offer because it is the first one you get only to find the company ceasing to exist one or two years down the line.

If you are struggling to find the right job for you and if you would like more practical, hands on and up to date accounts training, feel free to apply to one of our courses here at BLC Training and Internships.We also run career workshops which aim to help participants to apply highly effective resume writing, cover letter and interview techniques.

If you would like to do a trial class of one of our courses or if you would like to do a tour of our school, please feel free to email me at: ruth@blctraining.com.au.



8 Common Accounting Graduate Job Interview Questions

Congratulations, you’ve made it into the interview stage. What happens next? Speaking about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses and accomplishments can be daunting, especially if this is your first time.

You really want to hit the nail with this job interview and set yourself apart from the other hundreds of candidates in your same position. Having the qualifications and the experience is one thing however, articulating yourself in a way that exudes confidence and impressing your interviewer can be tricky sometimes.

Of course you can’t know exactly what kind of questions you will be asked in an interview for a graduate accounting role, but there are some common questions that you will likely to encounter during your interview. So here are 8 common interview questions we thought you may want to be prepared to respond to.

1. Technical Accounting Questions

Among many questions that can be asked, questions that directly correlate to the elements, principals, and process of accounting is bound to surface. It is vital to brush up on your accounting knowledge before the big day.

These questions are designed to gain an insight of how you analyse and comprehend information in a given time as well as reveal the level of understanding of your knowledge and could open a dialogue about how you may handle a scenario linked to the question.

Examples can include and are definitely not limited to:

  • How does an inventory write-down affect the three statements?
  • What are three examples of common budgeting methods?
  • What are the three financial statements?
  • How do you evaluate the reliability of the financial data you obtain?
  • What methods have you used for estimating bad debt?
2. Why do you choose to work in Accountancy?

Companies want to hire people who are passionate about their work. This question enables the interviewer to gain insight on your motivation for pursuing a career in accounting and why you are interested in the position.

The accounting field can be deemed as monotonous and meticulous- something that many people would stay away from. So conveying your passion in clarity is important to separate yourself from other candidates.

Keep in mind that recruiters hear a collection of answers and can read into the lines with ease, so always stay sincere with your answer.

3. What are your strengths?

By sharing your strengths (and weaknesses), interviewers will be able to highlight your key skills that can bring benefit to the company. Whilst explaining your strengths, be sure to list examples to prove your capability in the interview. There is no point saying something with no proof- it just sounds weak.

For example, you might say “I have a dedicated work ethic with my time management skills” and just ending it there is useless. Try adding in “I have a dedicated work ethic with my time management skills by studying full time and juggling being the president of the student body and working a part-time job.”

4. Which accounting applications and software are you familiar with?

In today’s job market, knowing just theoretical knowledge is not enough. Textbook smart does not equal employable smart. Familiarising yourself with accounting software will grant the recruiter to know the ability of your skills and knowledge application in a practical sense.

Cloud accounting is used in every business; therefore companies will look for candidates with the expertise that will aid them. The two big players in the Australian accounting market are Xero and MYOB. Both are powerful and responsive solutions that offer easy and effective ways to manage accounting process for business.

Our recent blog about Make the Right Choice: Xero or MYOB provides a head-to-head comparison between these two software.

5. What challenges are you looking for in this role?

This is a typical interview question for interviewers to determine whether you would be a good fit for the role and what you are looking for in next job. This question can be a way to show how you are qualified for this job.

The key to answer this question is to present to the interviewers that how you skills and experience can be effectively utilised in this position. For example, you could say, “I recently completed XERO accounting software training and I look forward to apply those skills into this job.”

Additionally, you can also mention that you are motivated with the challenges you encounter and make sure to support your statement with some real-life examples.

6. Give an example of when you had to work as part of a team

This question calls for how the team has improved or come back from a difficult situation due to your efforts and inputs rather than your role in leading a team’s success. Examples of resilience, co-operation and professionalism are some things recruiters will be looking out for.

By identifying how you’ve played your part shows the confidence in your strengths appealing to many recruiters. These set of skills are a strong foundation of the progression of the business as collaboration in a corporate setting is crucial for the company.

7. How do you manage high-stress environments?

In a career where working on multiple things at the same time with deadlines very close together, it can be quite stressful. Especially, for a typical accounting job, you would often need to juggle between different work and project deadlines.

Demonstrating how you priorities multiple responsibilities is crucial. Listing your various duties such a work, school and hobbies are great examples of managing responsibilities. Recruiters are looking for you to display your sense of responsibility to think of examples unique to you, especially where you can demonstrate a successful outcome.

8. How do you handle the minimising risk of error within your work?

As a profession that deals with the methodical and precise way of recording and reporting, room for error can be large. You are held to a high standard and the margin for error is tiny. Small mistakes can lead to large financial issues.

So emphasis the importance of checking work and establishing checks and balances within a team is crucial when answering a question like this. Recruiters want to hear that you have some sort of method for ensuring the accuracy of your work.

Conclusion

An interview for an accounting graduate job can be nerve-wracking. There are various aspects that make a perfect candidate and presenting yourself well in an interview is the most important. The skills acquired from schooling are inept without the skills to carrying out a sound interview.

However, this cannot happen overnight. If you stumble your words or can’t speak clearly at the interview, it is not the end of the world. Practicing different scenarios are crucial for an exceptional interview and will help you gain confidence in your answers and yourself as a candidate. Always remember to do your research about the company and their culture and vision.

Where to get help?

If you need to brush up on your accounting skills, learn in depth about accounting software as well as your soft skills, BLC Training and Internship is the one stop solution for all. At BLC, we helped many accounting graduates to kick start their dream career in Australia just like you. Discover how BLC Training and Internship can help you with your Accounting career today.

If you would like to find out more or require training on accounting software like Xero and MYOB, we are here to help. Get in touch with one of our friendly staff members to book a free trial class today!

 

First Day At Work – How To Make A Great First Impression

Tips for Conquering Your First Day At Work:



Your First Day at work, is exciting and nerve racking all at once! If you are changing jobs or it is your first job straight out of Uni, first day jitters are always the same.

Get Up Early And Arrive On Time


Set your alarm for a little earlier than the time that you would normally plan to get up at. Take your time to get ready, eat breakfast, grab a coffee and relax. You may feel nervous but it is important not to stress out too much, everyone has experienced a first day and your new employers wanted to hire YOU for a reason! Arrive at the office earlier than your start time to make a great first impression!



Dress For Success


First impressions are important and so is how you dress and present yourself! It is important to look well put together and groomed on your first day at work. If you are not sure how to dress think back to your interview, what were your interviewers wearing? How did the other people in the office dress? This should give you a guideline of what you are expected to wear.  Majority of companies nowadays either have office wear or smart casual dress guidelines.

First Day At Work


Don’t Wait To Be Introduced


Whilst it may be tempting to keep to yourself you cannot expect all of your new colleagues to come up to you and introduce themselves.  Most of your company and especially your team members will find out that you are new and they will be looking forward to meeting you. Take a quick walk around the office, smile, wave, shake hands and hear a thousand names that you will likely forget the second you walk away, but that’s okay! It may feel awkward at first but I guarantee that it will stand to you in the long run.



Adapt To The Company Culture


Most of the companies will have an “Employees Handbook” and a practice of formal induction of new employees. The Employees Handbook together with your contract will outline all of the important rules and guidelines that employees have to follow e.g. work hours, lunch breaks, clothing and appearances. Companies normally have the practice of formal induction for new employees. You will find however, that many offices also have ‘unwritten rules’ that they do not give to you in any handbook, so use your first day and week to suss them out. These type of rules may seem minor and silly but they make for a happy work place and happy colleagues e.g. don’t switch on the heater without asking your colleague who sits beside it; don’t put recyclables in the food waste bin; take lunches at different times so there is always somebody from your team in the office.

First Day At New Job


Be Enthusiastic & Positive


Your first day might be overwhelming but try your best to stay calm, composed and positive. It can take people weeks, or even months to settle into a new job. Remember that you are not alone and that tomorrow there will be somebody else new and in the same shoes as you. If there is anything you are unable to do, do not be afraid to ask for help. Your manager is there to help you to learn and grow, and questions show how keen and serious you are about the role at hand.



Make An Effort With Your New Colleagues


If your boss or some of your colleagues ask you out for lunch, GO! Make sure to get involved and say yes to everything. If there is a social club or sports team ensure you join those and use your coffee break too to get to know some of your colleagues. Your colleagues make your life at work easier and it is always lovely to have someone you know and trust with you every day. Colleagues can be great to share stories with, have a natter with and most of all they are great for support.

As an old saying goes, “there is no ‘I’ in team!”

If you are looking for a new job or if you are wondering how to interview well and even how to handle your first day at work, get in touch with the BLC Training and Internship team today: ruth@blctraining.com.au and come and meet with us. We offer regular Career Coaching workshops, designed to help you to succeed in your Career. If you work in the Accounting or Business industry and want to make a great first impression at work, why not make sure you are fully prepared by completing our Job Ready Accounting Program.



Make The Right Choice: Xero or MYOB

Accounting Software has come a long way over the last decades. With the introduction of computers and the internet, old-school ledgers and paper-based systems have now been gradually replaced with cloud-based accounting solutions.

Cloud-based accounting solutions is more flexible with real-time accounting data accessed from anywhere on any device with an internet connection. Having said so, finding the right accounting software to use is always critical and challenging decision for a business. Each software includes different set of features and offers multiple price range depending upon the features. Selecting the best among hundreds of software in the market is never easy.

The two big players in the Australian accounting market are Xero and MYOB. Both are powerful and responsive solutions that offer easy and effective ways to manage accounting and payroll process for business.

A brief history of Xero and MYOB

Cloud has indeed revolutionised the accounting system and process. Prior to introduction of cloud-based accounting, the dominant player in the Australian small to medium based businesses was computer based accounting software MYOB. It is one of the preferred accounting software in Australia since 1980s.

Due to its slow move in the cloud-based industry Xero emerged as prominent software attracting many small to medium business owners. New Zealand Tech entrepreneur Rod Drury founded Xero in 2006.

Later MYOB too released its cloud-based offering with MYOB Essentials and MYOB AccountRight. With the increasing popularity of these two software people are enhancing their knowledge on these software through MYOB and Xero training.

The head-to-head comparison

Let’s now look at the comparison between Xero and MYOB to understand which software will be best for the business as they both provide similar services:

 

Features Xero MYOB
Number of company account One per subscription Up to two company accounts with Premier AccountRight Subscription.
Sign-up & installation Fast and easy online process Easy sign up process but for the advance feature like inventory dedicated software is required which is compatible only in Windows.
Connectivity with other data sources Users can connect their online bank accounts and get daily transactions imported in Xero automatically. It also has integration with various other applications like Google apps. Do not have the feature of importing the daily transaction directly from the bank accounts. Lacks the connectivity with other data sources.
Storage In Xero data are stored in remote servers and even if the subscription is cancelled the data are available for seven years for download. For the desktop version MYOB the data needs to be backed up. In MYOB the data can be downloaded from MYOB’s cloud after installing the AccountRight.
Cost Pricing for Xero is comparatively complicated than MYOB. There aredifferent price ranges for Xero depending upon the features and number of employees like $25, $50 and $60 per month. The subscription for MYOB is for unlimited number of staffs.
Security In Xero the two step authentication is used for the security purpose mainly to prevent the data breach.

Xero is certified in Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) and SOC2.

In MYOB we can use the password protection for the data and restrict the unauthorised use.

 

 

MYOB do not have this feature.

Time Xero is browser based software and it can be used from any part of the world and the performance of Xero is faster. In Xero multiple tabs can be opened. The desktop version of MYOB needs to install in the desktop and needs to be operated from there. Only one activity can be performed in the MYOB. Whereas in Xero multiple tabs can be opened.
Mobile app iPhone and Android iPhone and Android
Foreign Currency Multi currency support available on premium plan and the foreign exchange rate are calculated in real time Does not support foreign currency.
Invoicing Invoice layouts can be customised and can track when the recipients open invoices. Invoice layouts can be customised and can track when the recipients open invoices. Advance customisation is only available using MYOB AccountRight.
Bank Reconciliation In Xero we can link the bank account and get automatic bank feed which makes the bank reconciliation much easier and one can do the reconciliation on daily basis rather than to wait for a month time. In MYOB Account Right there is similar facility, but Xero is much convenient in the bank reconciliation.
Conclusion

As the first mover in the cloud accounting space, Xero remains the dominant leader in the Australian market. It has been basically designed in a simple and easy to best suit for small and medium-sized business, not just to the cloud but also to a business user, rather than accountant first user experience.

For larger businesses that require additional features such as job tracking, purchase orders, advanced inventory tracking, MYOB’s AccountRight can cover all of the bases. With the features like connectivity, accessibility from anywhere, easy interface and many other features MYOB still has long way to catch up, however Xero lacks the complexity to manage larger business processes and requirements.

When it comes to decide on which accounting software to choose, it is important to know that there is no right or wrong decisions. Both of them are powerful and responsive accounting software that helps to streamline and simplify your accounting process.

What does the future hold?

Are you a recent accounting graduate but need to gain the practical accounting skills you need to walk into your dream accounting role? Proficiency with business accounting software like Xero and MYOB is critical to the modern skill set for accounting professionals in Australia.That’s where BLC Training and Internship can help.

At BLC, we helped many accounting graduates to kick start their dream career in Australia just like you. Discover how BLC Training and Internship can help you with your Accounting career today.

If you would like to find out more or require training on accounting software like Xero and MYOB, we are here to help. Get in touch with one of our friendly staff members to book a free trial class today!